Firstly, I suggest everyone contemplating a first cycle, or new to how we think about cycles here at AnabolicMinds read over this thread:
Checklist before thinking about a cycle
What is PCT?
PCT is Post Cycle Therapy. It is the time period after a cycle in which we attempt to restore the body's natural hormone production and HPGA (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis, not HPTA which is Thyroid) after a cycle. It is a very complex time for most of us (as indicated by all the questions that pop up about it). This thread will hopefully clear up a lot of questions.
Why we PCT?
We do PCT to help the body recover faster after having the natural hormone production shut down by the administration of exogenous hormones. Part of holding on to the gains made during a cycle is getting the body's natural production of testosterone up and running as fast as possible (without test, muscle is harder to hold on to). Another reason to get the body going again is so that we can feel better and get back to hitting the gym hard sooner (instead of the extended deload that PCT requires).
How we PCT.
Yes... The part you are all actually reading this post for! The nitty-gritty of how to do it. Firstly, any proper PCT has a SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) as its base. Why do we need a SERM? I'll just use mattrag's explanation:
Let's look at the reasons why you need a serm in pct:
HPGA will be suppressed when you take exogenous hormones. The more powerful they are the more you get suppressed. Your body will adjust to the excess and stop making it's own. Unfortunately, when you stop the hormone the body just doesn't start back up. Plus many other things that are suppressed (like estrogen, from non aromatising steroids/PH). What?! How can that be? My ph has no estrogen sides! Okay, let's look at what the body does. To make things simple testosterone is turned into estrogen via and enzyme called aromatase. Body needs estrogen so when you are taking the non aromatising ph the body isn't going to just stop needing estrogen it's gonna try get it. And how? By elevating aromatase and making estrogen receptors more sensitive. Thus your pretty dormant breast tissue estrogen receptors could be turned on full alert. Okay thats about all I will say for now.
What does this SERM do? In simple terms it starts up your balls. Clomid, and the other SERMS, have been shown to increase LH and FSH levels in men. Also, it binds to the estrogen receptor and renders it inactive for the time it's in our system.
Here are some links about the various SERMS so you can figure out which one you prefer. I prefer to always have clomid on hand in case I'm having a rough restart, as it is designed for fertility, but I don't like running it in high doses (due to the sides) ever, so I always use nolva or torem as a base.
Low Testosterone and Clomid
Nolvadex - Steroid .com
Nolvadex best T-booster of the SERMS (does not compare to clomid though)
The beneficial effects of toremifene administr... [Fertil Steril. 2007] - PubMed - NCBI
There is some concern about running nolva (and possibly torem, since it it a metabolite of nolva) with a 19-nor compound as both of these upregulate the progesterone receptor, and gyno caused by the 19-nor compounds is progesterone-induced:
IronMagazine Bodybuilding Forums - View Single Post - WHY you don't use nolva with a 19-nor (tren, npp, deca)
But, to make things more interesting, there is this contradicting information: